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Gretna Green Marriages


Runaway matches. In Scotland, all that is required of contracting parties is a mutual declaration before witnesses of their willingness to marry, so that elopers reaching the parish of Graitney, or village of Springfield, could get legally married without either licence, banns, or priest. The declaration was generally made to a blacksmith.

Crabbe has a metrical tale called Gretna Green, in which young Belwood elopes with Clara, the daughter of Dr. Sidmere, and gets married; but Belwood was a “screw,” and Clara a silly, extravagant hussy, so they soon hated each other and parted. (Tales of the Hall, book xv.)

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Grenadier Guards
Gresham College (London)
Gresham and the Grasshopper
Gresham and the Pearl
Greta Hall
Grethel (Gammer)
Gretna Green Marriages
Grey Friars
Grey Hen (A)
Grey Mare
Grey Wethers
Grey-coat Parson (A)
Grey from Grief
Grey Goose Wing (The)
Grey Mare’s Tail
Grey Washer by the Ford (The)